NEWS FROM THE NORTH: ACT UP SCOTLAND LAUNCHES

This Tuesday May 20th 6.30-9.30 pm at the Glasgow Arches Theatre will witness a historic launch of ACT UP Scotland, with an event entitled ‘Community Discussion on the Past, Present and Future of Scotland’s HIV Activism against the Epidemic.’

The night will feature a panel discussion and Q + A with guest speakers who are pioneering new strategies in the fight for an HIV cure for all. There will also be a free screening of the feature-length award-winning documentary –  United in Anger: A History of ACT UP – an inspiring documentary about the birth and life of the AIDS activist movement from the perspective of the people fighting the epidemic. Utilizing oral histories of members of ACT UP, as well as rare archival footage, the film depicts the efforts of ACT UP as it battles corporate greed, social indifference, and government neglect.

United in Anger is clearly a labour of love and does a fantastic job of reminding this generation of how hard not only the gay community, but also people of all races and genders, fought for basic human rights. All of these groups were united together fighting the same cause, and United in Anger does a fantastic job capturing the spirit and electricity in their protests.” Toronto Film Review

Following in the footsteps of ACT UP LONDON who recently stripped their clothes in front of the London Home Office to fight the Immigration Bill, this Tuesday will be the launch of ACT UP SCOTLAND who have a series of protests aimed at the Scottish Government’s controversial welfare reforms.

Government figures show that a shocking 44 per cent of people with HIV who have completed a “Work Capability Assessment” have had their support cut off, and charities warn that it is causing destitution. HIV Scotland’s recent report states we are very concerned that the impact of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 will have major implications and negative health effects for people living with Blood Borne Virus(BBV). 83% of interviewee’s stated the welfare reform bill would have a negative impact on their lives. 13% stated they didn’tknow what the impact would be, and 4% said there would be no change.”

ACT UP Scotland joins with other leading advocacy groups, including HIV Scotland, National AIDS Trust and Student Stop AIDS in opposing these measures. ACT UP Scotland come to the fore as part of a Scotland wide performance campaign ‘Shafted?!’ which is a lead highlight at this years Pride Scotland show in Edinburgh in June. It is a show sharing the realities of HIV in Scotland and we are looking for people to participate! SHAFTED?! is an unashamedly deviant HIV cabaret and activism movement to stop the HIV Second Silence. The show combines dance, performance, live music, stunts and spoken word to tell true life stories of people living with and affected by the virus. It is part of a wider body of activism combining workshops, mentoring schemes and direct actions UK-wide, in response to austerity cuts and the silence around the epidemic.

The current HIV epidemic and the growing cuts to HIV education and prevention services right across the UK are a big concern so Shafted?! are continuing the historic ACT UP protests tilll justice prevails. The launch will serve as a catalyst to build activist tanks and for more people to speak out and share their story to inspire others to get involved in HIV activism.” Harry McVay, ACT UP Scotland activist

“It was great to see HIV positive people taking centre stage in a positive (no pun intended), laughter inducing, yet thought provoking format. Usually HIV is shrouded in mystery, myth and misconception which only serves to fuel the persevering social stigma attached to it – so hurrah for Shafted and it? fresh approach to challenging this.” John Barber, Brownlee Centre, Peer Support & Patient Engagement Manager, Gartnaval Hospital

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